Monday, March 30, 2009

The Bipolar Teen

I am having a lot of trouble coping with my "Bipolar Teen". He seems to be more moody, secretive and stubborn than my pre-teen.

When my son was little I could pick him up and dress him and make him go to school or to the dentist or where ever. Limit setting may have caused an upset but it usually worked to bring him "in-check".

Now I am facing a young man, stronger, taller and willful who refuses to do anything I ask.
A young man prone to violent "outbursts" and experimenting with "self-medicating".
A young man who calls me names, threatens me and tells me he hates me.

March mania came on in full force this year the end of January.
I always know it is coming but we still were not prepared. Before I knew it we were in crisis. Partially because we are experiencing some life changes that could not be avoided; a change in our residence plus what appears to be a major growth spurt for my son. In the last two weeks he has grown a full shirt size!

Thirty days ago I did what I hoped I would never have to do... I asked the judge to "Baker Act" him. Five hours after my request the sheriff arrived, handcuffed my son and drove him to the nearest mental health facility. I was heart broken.

The seventy two hours my son spent at the hospital seemed like an eternity. He was angry with me at first and probably angry with himself. He made good choices when another in patient instigated a fight with him, he participated in therapy and a new medication was added.
He became more communicative and apologetic. He never wants to repeat hospitalization.

I am reading "The Bipolar Teen, What you Can do to Help your Child and Your Family". The co-authors offer numerous strategies for coping with all aspects of BP disorder. I highly recommend this book for anyone coping with a BP teen.

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